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Futures Flat Amid 'Fiscal Cliff' Worries; Dollar General (DG) Rises

 November 27, 2012 09:06 AM

(By Balachander) U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a flat opening on the Wall Street amid lingering concerns over the looming "fiscal cliff" even as European officials agreed over a debt-reduction package for Greece.

Mini Dow Industrial Average futures dipped 8 points to 12,928. The Nasdaq futures inched up 4.25 points to 2,650. Standard and Poor's 500 futures lost 0.30 points to 1,403.

The Eurozone and the International Monetary Fund agreed on a plan to reduce Greece's sovereign long-term debt by around 40 billion euros, or 124 percent of gross domestic product by 2020.

European partners also committed to bring back Greece's debt to substantially below 110 percent of GDP by 2022, conditional on full implementation of the program by Greece.

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Investors may also focus on a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke for any hints regarding future monetary policy.

On the domestic data front, durable-goods orders for October were unchanged, versus economists expectations of a fall of 0.6 percent. New orders - excluding transportation - unexpectedly rose 1.5 percent, while expectations were for a 0.5 percent decline. Durable-goods orders measures the change in the total value of new orders for long lasting manufactured goods.

The S&P/Case-Shiller House Price Index, which measures the change in the selling price of single-family homes in 20 metropolitan areas, may show a reading of 2.9 percent for September after a 2 percent increase in August.

The Conference Board's consumer confidence index ix expected to increase to 73 in November from 72.2 in the previous month.

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On Monday, U.S. stocks closed on a mixed note as investors await the results of a third meeting of European officials over a debt-reduction package for Greece and worries over the so-called fiscal cliff weighed on the sentiment. President Obama has pushed for higher taxes on wealthy Americans to address the fiscal cliff of roughly $600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases that could hit economic growth.

A new analysis by the President's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) finds that consumers could spend nearly $200 billion less than they otherwise would have in 2013 just because of higher taxes. Allowing the middle-class tax rates to rise and failing to patch the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) could cut the growth of real consumer spending by 1.7 percentage points in 2013. 

Hot Stocks Of The Day: DG, RAH, CAG, FB, LVS, CDTI, ACAD

In corporate news, Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG) added 3.12 percent in premarket. The discount retailer will replace Cooper Industries Plc (CBE) in the S&P 500 after the close of trading on Friday, November 30.

Ralcorp Holdings Inc. (NYSE: RAH) surged 26.48 percent after the maker of private-brand food products agreed to be acquired by ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE: CAG) for $90.00 per share in cash or about $6.8 billion, including the assumption of debt.

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) added 1.50 percent in premarket. Nomura raised its price target on the stock to $32 from $27.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS) jumped 4.11 percent in premarket after the casino operator declared a special cash dividend of $2.75 a share.

Clean Diesel Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: CDTI) surged 15.74 percent after the company announced its Purifilter EGR emission reduction system received verification from the Environmental Protection Agency.

ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ACAD) may be in focus after the company announced successful results from a late-stage trial of its drug pimavanserin in patients with Parkinson's disease psychosis.

Analog Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: ADI), Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) and PVH Corp. (NYSE: PVH) are due to report their quarterly results after the markets close.

Global Markets

European markets traded in green, with Germany's DAX up 0.57 percent to trade at 7,333.42. France's CAC40 gained 0.26 percent to trade at 3,510.04. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 advanced 0.42 percent to trade at 5,810.89.

Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index tumbled 1.30 percent to finish at 1,991.17. Japan's Nikkei 225 added 0.37 percent to finish at 9,423.30. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.08 percent to end at 21,844.03. India's BSE Sensex ended at 18,842.08, up 1.65 percent.

Commodity & Currency Scan

Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures rose 0.31 percent to $88.01 per barrel. Gold futures dipped 0.08 percent to $1,748.20 per ounce.

In the currency market, the euro dropped 0.19 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2948, while the British pound inched 0.16 percent higher to 1.6052. The dollar added 0.10 percent against the Japanese yen to 82.1700.



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